The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Breaking News

April 8, 2013

Republican super PAC leader backs immigration reform

INDIANAPOLIS — As the politics of immigration reform heats up in the Statehouse and Congress, a prominent Republican is ramping up his efforts to rid the influence of what he calls anti-immigrant “extremists” in his party.

Former U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez is scheduled to be in Indianapolis today for private meetings with well-heeled potential donors to his new political action committee, Republicans for Immigration Reform.

His ultimate goal: to raise the mountains of money needed to “provide cover” for pro-immigration Republicans at risk of being targeted in their next primary election.

“We need to prevent the extreme voices from speaking for our party,” Gutierrez said.

“We’re supposed to be the party of prosperity and opportunity,” he added. “But we can’t be those things if we’re seen as the party of anti-immigrants.”

Gutierrez, a Cuban-American, is a significant voice in the immigration reform debate. He was commerce secretary to President George W. Bush and an advisor to the 2012 Mitt Romney presidential campaign.

After Romney’s loss, he teamed up with Washington lawyer Charlie Spies, co-founder of the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future, to create the new Republicans for Immigration Reform.

Gutierrez is unabashed in his criticism of how Romney and the Republican Party blew the last election.  

He said Romney’s call for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. to “self deport” was pandering to far-right Republicans who are the harshest critics of illegal immigration.

Gutierrez said immigrants of all kinds, including those here legally, were offended. “By treating one group of immigrants with such disdain, all immigrants felt like the Republican party was saying to them: ‘You’re not welcome here.’”

Romney won only 27 percent of the Hispanic vote. “We lost the Asian-American vote by an even larger margin,” Gutierrez said.

Former Republican state legislator Mike Murphy said Gutierrez’s visit to Indiana sends two signals:

One, that national Republicans believe some members of Indiana’s congressional delegation may be open to federal legislation that would create a pathway to legal status for undocumented workers, students and children.

Second, said Murphy: “It’s clear that Indiana is being seen as a battleground for the hearts and minds of people on this issue.”

Gutierrez wants his super PAC to raise the needed millions of dollars to counter the super PAC money that’s been spent in the past to knock off pro-immigration Republican candidates.

It won’t be an easy task: Last May, longtime U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar lost his primary bid after outside super PACs – including Restore Our Future — poured money into his opponent’s campaign.

One of the issues Lugar was hammered on: His support of the federal DREAM Act, which would have created a path for citizenship for children who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their immigrant parents.

Brian Howey, longtime political analyst with the Howey Political Report, said Gutierrez’s plea for support may resonate with Republican stalwarts who still mourn Lugar’s loss. Democrat Joe Donnelly won the seat in the November election.

“They booted away a safe Republican Senate seat,” Howey said.

Congress is expected to take up debate soon on federal immigration reform. A bipartisan group of U.S. senators, known as the “Gang of Eight,” has been working on comprehensive legislation that includes measures to secure the U.S. border, allow thousands of foreign workers into the country, and grant eventual citizenship to undocumented immigrants living here illegally.

In the Indiana Statehouse, legislators are debating a bill that would roll back the state’s two-year-old ban on in-state college tuition for the children of undocumented immigrants. The bill is being carried by some key Republicans, who’ve called the ban unnecessarily punitive because the high cost of out-of-state tuition blocks those students’ access to college.

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com.

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • Student struggles to recount fatal truck-bus crash

    Most of the 911 calls from witnesses to last week's fiery truck-bus collision that killed 10 were matter of fact. Then there was the one from a passenger: With shrieks in the background, the student struggled to recount how a truck came roaring toward them.

    April 18, 2014

  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital

     A powerful, magnitude-7.5 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Friday. The U.S. Geological Survey said it was centered northwest of the Pacific resort of Acapulco, where many Mexicans are vacationing for the Easter holiday.

    April 18, 2014

  • Doomed ferry's sharp turn, slow evacuation probed

    The investigation into South Korea's ferry disaster focused on the sharp turn it took just before it began listing and on the possibility that a quicker evacuation order by the captain could have saved lives, officials said Friday, as rescuers struggled to find some 270 people still missing and feared dead.

    April 18, 2014

  • Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12

    An avalanche swept down a climbing route on Mount Everest early Friday, killing at least 12 Nepalese guides and leaving three missing in the deadliest disaster on the world's highest peak.

    April 18, 2014

  • news_horselesscarriage.jpg Proposed car to replace NYC horse carriages shown

    An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City was presented Thursday at the New York International Auto Show, as critics expressed their distaste for the idea.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_southwest.jpg Flight lands safely in Indiana after threat

    An Indianapolis airport spokesman said a Southwest Airlines flight safely made an emergency landing after the airline received some kind of threat.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indianapolis police officer kills ex-wife, self

    Authorities say an Indianapolis police officer shot and killed his estranged wife, also an officer, and then turned the gun on himself.

    April 18, 2014

  • news_homesickforprison.jpg Man said to be homesick for prison gets 3½ years

    An ex-con who spent most of his adult life behind bars on Thursday got what he said he wanted for robbing a suburban Chicago bank. The 74-year-old gets to go back to the place he called home — prison.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gay Marriage Utah [Duplicate] Judge asks pointed questions in gay marriage case

    A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_obamalocalschools.jpg Obama: 8 million signed up for health care

    Eight million people have signed up for health care through new insurance exchanges and the proportion of younger applicants has increased, President Barack Obama said Thursday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

How well do you monitor your child's use of social media?

I do a good job
I check occasionally
Not well at all
     View Results